Project Spotlight: Drainage Solutions & More for Portland Homeowners

January 28, 2015

Portland Landscaping DesignWhen a family moved into their “builder’s special” Northeast Portland home, they knew they needed the assistance of a trusted, local landscaping company to help them with the aesthetic appeal of their property and the challenges that came with it. In the winter of 2014, my landscaping team and I worked with the family to address their wants and needs in order to create both a beautiful and functional low-maintenance landscape.

The Project

When the owners purchased a home built on an infill lot in northeast Portland, Oregon, they quickly learned that the landscaping needed some serious attention. Our Portland landscaping and installation team addressed the drainage and erosion problems on the property, and set out to give the space more curb appeal and usability with low-maintenance solutions.

The Challenges

The major problems that the homeowners faced were flooding, poor drainage and erosion on their sloped lot. Every time it rained, water washed away the soil on their garden path and either side of the patio. At times, the soil flowed into the neighbor’s driveway.

Our client wanted to fix the drainage and erosion problems, as well as make the property more aesthetically pleasing and usable with an extended outdoor living space. At the same time, they sought a low-maintenance landscape design that didn’t require a lot of work to keep their property looking beautiful throughout the year.

The Solutions

Drain systems: To remedy the drainage and erosion problems in the backyard, we installed French drain systems on either side of the patio to catch surface water at the base of the slope.

Portland Oregon Drain Systems

Extra pavers: Our Portland landscaping team extended the homeowners’ patio by adding concrete pavers that matched the pavers already in place to increase the outdoor living space.

Portland Landscaping Paver Patio

Pavers were also added in the area between the sidewalk and curb to give the space a maintenance-free decorative touch.

Sidewalk and Curb Pavers 11.28.45_v2

Outdoor lighting: To increase the property’s safety, outdoor lights were installed near the steps leading up to the home. An uplight at the base of the ‘Coral Bark’ maple tree was added to show off its ginger and crimson colors.

Portland Outdoor Lighting Solutions

Beveled slope: Instead of installing a retaining wall to address drainage and erosion problems, our team beveled the property’s slope and covered the ground on the side of the house with river rock. To help keep soil in place when it rains, sedum was planted to serve as a ground cover.

Portland Erosion Solution Beveled Slope

No- and low-maintenance flora: Instead of adding grass, which requires regular watering and mowing, our Portland landscaping experts used nandina and perennial grasses that the homeowners already owned for a low-maintenance front yard solution. In the back, native vine maples and low-maintenance landscape plants were used to soften the look of the existing brick wall. When the greenery around the property was planted, sufficient space was left between the plants according to their full-grown sizes to eliminate the future need of extensive pruning. The photos you see below were taken in early 2015 and the plants have yet to reach their full potential. Other plants used on the property include camellia, clematis, azalea, ferns, maple trees, grape vines and Rocky Mountain penstemon.

Low Maintenance Plants for Portland Landscaping

Gravel path: Using crushed rock, we created a pathway that gave the homeowners access to every part of their backyard.

Portland Path and Landscaping Design

Did you see a solution that you like? Contact Landscape East & West to request an estimate today.

Susan HicksSusan Hicks is the Design-Build Sales expert at Landscape East & West, Portland landscaping professionals. Susan specializes in helping improve clients’ outdoor spaces with proper water management solutions, design/build options and much more.